Famous Royals That Suffered From Terrible Diseases And Afflictions

The advancements in medical technology have made many diseases treatable, although experts are always researching to make more cures and to find better methods of caring for patients. But, it’s understandable that people in the past often died from certain illnesses because there was no knowledge about them back then. Even members of royal families suffered due to lack of treatments. However, for many of them, several of their diseases presented and spread due to inbreeding and incest. We now know all the dangers of having relatives marry each other, but we have to remember that these people wanted to keep “the bloodlines pure.” This led to many cases of hemophilia, madness, and other mental afflictions. Let’s find out more about famous royals with weird diseases.


It’s very likely that King Herod had a chronic case of kidney disease. However, during the last years of his life, he suffered from something else. Fournier’s gangrene affects a person’s genitals, and the ancient historian Flavius Josephus said that the monarch “had a terrible craving to scratch himself, his bowels were ulcerated, and his privates gangrenous and wormy.”

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Due to how much pain Herod was going through, he developed depression and a horribly bad temper as a side effect of his illness as well as his kidney problem. Fournier’s gangrene normally affects older men, but it has been caught in some women and children. It happens due to certain bacteria, and lack of treatment will exacerbate the symptoms. The pain might have been the reason why King Herod was known for killing many innocents.

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